Retailer Spotlight: Earthenworks

Retailer Spotlight: Earthenworks

Earthenworks Gallery - Cynthia and Donald Hoskins, La Conner, WA

The story of Earthenworks Gallery is a love story of sorts - starting with two Northwest-born teenagers who fell in love with art as they fell in love with each other. And like with most love stories, they began their journey with a rather humble beginning...

Describe your gallery.
We are a Contemporary American Crafts and Fine Art Gallery. Our vast array of merchandise is in every medium which include functional pieces as well as decorative and collector pieces.  Fashion jewelry to fine jewelry, blown glass, ceramics, fiber, leather, original paintings, bronze sculpture, woodworking, and outdoor sculpture
Year Founded:
Our first gallery opened in 1977. We now have two locations: La Conner, WA and Port Townsend, WA. We are celebrating our 40th year in business.
Square Feet of Retail Space:
Each store is 3,000 square feet. They are housed in historic buildings that we renovated and restored. One of which is a 1907 Hotel Building and yes we also run a twelve room boutique hotel. The other Building was built in 1885 and we rent three apartments that are on the second floor. These buildings are on the National Historic Register.
Why did you decide to open a gallery?
Donald was an accomplished potter and opening a gallery gave us the means to showcase his work outside of craft fairs. It also enabled us to feature the work of other local artisans.
How many artists do you represent?
We currently represent over 400 artists from the United States and Canada.
How do you promote your artists/gallery?
We promote our business using newspaper and social media. Every month we create a digital newsletter featuring an artist and/or gallery event that is emailed to our customer list. Two years ago we created an e commerce website. In addition, we donate merchandise to community fundraisers and participate in local Chamber of Commerce activities.
What percentage of merchandise is made in the U.S.? Canada? Imported?
We proudly only carry the work of American and Canadian Artists.
What trade shows do you attend?
We attend the American Craft shows in Baltimore and the Indie Me show in Philadelphia We also go to several large arts and craft shows in Washington and California.
What attracts you to new merchandise?

New merchandise that attracts us is unique, well made, price valued, and salable. It has to meet our discerning criteria that we have developed over the past 40 years.

Do you consign?
Yes, we have work on consignment. All of the paintings are consigned. Otherwise, some of the artists we buy from consign additional work to have a larger presence in the gallery.
Do you sell online?

We are very proud of our website:, and sell from it on a regular basis. We have been surprised that we have sold some very expensive items.

What is your shopping routine on IndieMe?

We utilize this website to look up specific artists, as well as to see new work by artists we already represent.

Who generates the biggest sales for you? Tourists? Locals? Repeat Customers? Collectors?
Our customers are both tourists and local residents. Repeat customers are a large part of our business and we do our best to personalize their customer experience.
There is no magical price point. We often sell high-end pieces, however, not as frequently as items in the under $100 range. We find it's best to have a broad price assortment in each medium, thereby making art affordable to everyone.
How is business? Any thoughts for the future of craft galleries?

Business is unpredictable but we are seeing a steady increase in sales since the infamous 2008 recession. The future of the industry lies not only in the gallery owners, but the emergence of new artists as well. This industry is about creativity and passion and we do our part to keep up the momentum of the culture.

 What advice do you have for new craft galleries?

For anyone who may be considering opening a gallery it is important to plan and become familiar with what is going on in your area. The location is very important in order to attract customers and artists to represent.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
This industry is in constant need of new and unique artisans. We recommend learning the business portion of selling so you can best collaborate with galleries that represent you. Being adaptable to change in the economy and fashion trends is also important. Ultimately, keep moving forward and perfecting your craft.

Showing 0 Comment

Comments are closed.

Stay Connected

Buyers SHOP online anytime 24/7 with our online marketplace. Discover over 1,200 quality American & Canadian wholesale artists. Join here.

Artists join now and CONNECT with quality buyers, gain new wholesale accounts, and have more time in your studio with our online marketplace. Apply here.

Search Articles


rising imports industry news smart retailer dan brownell retailer spotlight artisana gallery artist spotlight karen daniel glass art design brian cohen printmaker cathy broski handmade stoneware theresa angelo lost and bound bookarts bill reneau earthshack woodworker sue nordman erda wearable art sculptural handbags michael hudson hudson glass shima shanti peace waters encaustic painting spirit boy scouts of america the reserve collection indieme marketplace online wholesale selling handmade jewelry madwoman desert provisions charlene pulsonetti southwest handmade jenny pfanenstiel forme millinery handmade hats industry news retail isn't dying retail is evolving smart retailer wholesale earthenworks gallery cynthia and donald hoskins annie ciscak pazar annie's arts & follies beth gregory tip of the week email list part I marketing strategies business tools small business colleen huth slab building handmade art 2D design searching using advanced searching helpdesk retail stores increase 2017 staci egan contempo jewelry sondra gerber blue pom gallery american handmade canadian handmade omaha building email lists marketing karen ahuja acrylic paintings mixed media canvas cards ornaments handmade home decor california target market demographics your target market demographics creating customer relationships museums and more avant garden and home sandra kaye sandra kaye studios functional fused glass handmade glass plum crazy brandy foard anchor bend glassworks michael richardson justin tarducci handmade blown glass timothy underwood courtyards sharon prazak seadragon gallery yellowhouse gallery eve turek Eyetopia; paige buscema theresa angelo lost and bound books mutibility in motion laureen vizza tar heel trading judith joyce rock run nora larimer sylvi harwin eclat by sylvi harwin lisa white white dawn designs botanically themed collages frames jewelry articles for wholesaling social media marketing tool advertising is everything print is not dead key to success advertising how to wholesaling artist shooting professional images product images becoming an expert wholesaler how-to videos search gift shop magazine sue rosengard IndieMe Pay